AHMEDABAD (TIP): Normally, helmets protect your head – but here is one developed by four Gujarat students that will help you when your rationality fails! Tushar Patel and his three friends studying electronic communication engineering at the Babaria Institute of Technology, Vadodara, have designed a booze-sniffing helmet that will cut off a bike’s engine if the driver unwisely plans to drive while drunk. Moreover, sensors in the helmet tell the bike not to move unless the driver is wearing the helmet.

Patel and his friends – Renny David, Kishan Joshi, and Monal Jaiswani – were concerned about youngsters in their neighbourhood who had been involved in accidents, some proving fatal, after consuming country liquor and then driving. “We have also lost some close relatives to drunk driving,” says Patel. The students have used a wireless system that links the sensors-fitted helmet to the engine ignition. If the alcohol sensor on the helmet detects liquor breath, or if its special infrared sensors find that the driver is not wearing the helmet, the bike won’t start.

There is an added feature in the system. The helmet has a GSM mobile SIM slot. “If the driver has met with an accident, sensors will detect the impact and immediately send SMSs to friends and family members,” says Patel. “An advanced feature of the system is that it can show the exact place of the accident on a Google map on a smartphone.” Does the device enhance the weight of the helmet? “My guide Mayank Chavda had helped me reduce the weight of the system to just 200g,” Patel says. “The integration cost of the system is not more than Rs 2,500 and hence is affordable.”

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